Researchers Find Acute Kidney Disease On the Rise Due to Medications, Surgery

It seems kidney disease is in the media more these days.  According to researchers, acute kidney disease is under-researched.  A new study published in the Journal of Nephrology states acute kidney disease is responsible for approximately 39,000 deaths in 2009 alone.  Over the span of 9 years, researchers tracked the number of cases of acute kidney disease, as it grew from 18,000 to 39,000.  As a result, researchers estimated that 10% more patients required dialysis every year.

Acute kidney disease differs from other forms of kidney disease because it is a sudden and rapid decline of the kidneys.  This can occur after an infection that may or may not be detected, major surgery, or from the interaction with different kinds of medications.  To date, researchers still do not have a good grasp of the reasons why kidneys fail so suddenly and why this is increasing.

Possible Links to Sudden Kidney Failure

Acute kidney disease is marked by a sudden and rapid decline in kidney functions.  This could be the result of various outside influences, many of which may be linked to existing health conditions and the treatment of these conditions. Among the likely suspects are:

  • Sudden kidney blockages caused by kidney stones
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medicines such as aspirin
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Dyes used in various common xray tests
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Heart surgery or bone marrow surgery
Researchers are calling for more intense investigations into acute kidney disease to better understand the differences between acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease, or so called end- stage kidney disease.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Acute kidney disease comes about rapidly.  Yesterday you may have functioned normally, but for some reason today you could be dying.  In my own experience, my grandfather died this way. The symptoms can be hard to spot, but they are important to try and catch early:

  • Lack of urine when you urinate
  • Swelling or retaining fluids in your ankles, feet, legs that indicate your kidneys may be shutting down
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • No desire to eat
  • Confusion, anxiety, restlessness that is out of character
  • Flank pain in your back below the ribs
The problem is that many people ignore these symptoms or are unaware that they are experiencing symptoms of kidney failure.  Often, this is only diagnosed in the hospital when patients are already undergoing other treatments. 

Protect Yourself

Listen to your body and discuss the potential for kidney failure with your doctors.  If you feel your medications have injured you, your doctor may be able to suggest something else.  And you can always call a skilled product liability and personal injury lawyer for help.  Protect yourself and talk to your doctor today. Find out if you're at risk and how you can best avoid acute kidney disease.